Immigrants caught using fake degrees
Job seekers as far removed as pastry chefs to economists have been exposed trying to gain employment with fake qualifications, according to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
The most common offenders originate in China and Fiji, with most-forged qualification being degrees, reveals information released under the Official Information Act. It also shows that many immigrants claim to have degrees in a variety of subjects, from childcare to computer science to IT.
Often the truth is that the fraudsters started the qualification but did not achieve sufficient grades to get the certificate, or did a similar but shorter course than a full degree. An example is a 33-year-old Bulgarian, who in 2006 claimed to have a master of computer science degree from a university in Sofia. It turned out that he had flunked in 1997 due to poor results.
Applicants caught by NZQA have tried to forge signatures, duplicate seals and particularly bad charlatans have drawn up certificates that bare no resemblance to the originals, reports the website Stuff.co.nz.
However, numbers remain fairly low. The NZQA detected 14 frauds 2008, and this number has decreased in subsequent years. In a statement, the body said that while this type of fraud is increasing internationally, enough is being done in New Zealand to combat it.
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